Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tobacco crop is injurious to AP farmers wealth

Tobacco is one of the best cash crops in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the Tobacco crop is less perishable and the yield and value is high per acre. The Tobacco auction system is one of the best among the agriculture produces markets in India. The sale is guaranteed, the price is negotiated and determined among the traders and farmers in supervision of Tobacco board. Every year the Tobacco board fixes the crop size to protect the interests of traders, growers and public health.

Normally Tobacco board arranges the convention with growers and traders to discuss the market related issues before the market opens. In this year meeting, the farmers demanded their remunerative price shouldn’t be less than Rs.150.00 per kg for higher variety. As per my understanding… this year tobacco crop quality is good, the yields also lesser than the fixed crop size and the traders have enough quantity of export orders, so the farmers have justified reason to ask for remunerative price of Rs.150.00. The markets were opened on Feb24th and the traders bid their price not more than Rs.120 per kg for higher grades. The farmers were stopped the auction and they have protested for better price since the plantation and processing expenses have gone up by 20% in this year.

Recently the Tobacco Board reopened the auction centers by the force of traders to continue the market with the same low price. Farmers are in misery and they are inescapable condition to sell their crop with the lower rate of Rs.120 per kg. The traders turn into a syndicate and they want to maximize their profits by convincing with fake reasons that the global tobacco yields are high and the buffer stock are still on hold (as usually... they are misguiding the farmers). Tobacco board is showing over enthusiasm to protect the traders by ignoring the farmers’ interests and also the Board has failed to negotiate the trader for getting better price to farmers.

Government of India needs to take necessary steps to help the tobacco farmers in this crisis situation since GOI is getting lot of revenue from local tobacco markets and foreign exchange from exports. The Government has to finance the State Trading Corporation of India or any Tobacco growers’ societies to help the farmers for better price. I strongly support the FDIs in tobacco trade because the farmers will get fair price in the competition of increased traders and manufacturers. If the Government doesn’t curb the traders’ deceitful practices, then the farming tobacco crop is injurious farmers’ wealth.